Dearborn Area Chamber announces Innovator of the Year at BRACE

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Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce
Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce representatives Rick Morrone (left) and Gary Kearns (right) present the Innovator of the Year award to Henry Ford Community College President Gail Mee (second from left), Dearborn Public Schools Trustee Roxanne McDonald and DPS Supt. Brian Whiston.

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Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce
Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce representatives Rick Morrone (left) and Gary Kearns (right) present the Business Leader of the Year award to Lynne Killion of PostNet Dearborn.

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Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce
Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce representatives Rick Morrone (left) and Gary Kearns (right) present the Small Business of the Year to Mark Anisbigian of Westborn Market.

The Dearborn Area Chamber recognizes the importance of innovation each year with its Innovator of the Year Award. This award was presented to Henry Ford Collegiate Academy April 19 during the Chamber’s Business Recognition Awards Ceremony & Expo event at The Henry.

The award was created to honor a forward-thinking business model whose lead function addresses “New Economy” markets from Dearborn and Dearborn Heights. The winner was selected from nominees that included Goodwill Industries and Village Ford Dealership’s Environmental Initiatives.

Dearborn Public Schools, in partnership with Henry Ford Community College, is now the only district in Michigan to offer a program of its type. The state-funded five-year program — where students receive a diploma and associate’s degree including books at no cost to families — will solidify decisions to stay in the community and offers those students who may not be able to afford higher education.

Dearborn Public Schools offers unique career-focused programs, a full service district managing 20,000 students and some of the best teachers and students in the nation. HFCC is a comprehensive community college with a diverse student population, that values teaching and learning.

“We are proud to shed light on these business innovators at this event that also recognizes Business of the Year (Severstal North America), Leadership Award (Lynne Killion, PostNet Dearborn) and Small Business of the Year (Westborn Market),” Chamber Event Director Peggy Richard said.

The BRACE event, presented by Ford Land, connects and showcases organizations in the Dearborn and Dearborn Heights community. The luncheon, including a video component spotlighting each awardee, also recognized businesses celebrating milestone anniversaries, from five years to 180 years. The expo enabled companies to promote their products and services to more than 300 business owners, community leaders and corporate professionals.